It was in 2014 that drone operators began racing each other at an informal level in Australia. Ever since then, drone racing has gained immense popularity all over the world. Today, it has become a sport that is professionally run by Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), a well-known governing body for conducting and supervising international level drone racing events.
FAI has recently gained recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as well, leading to the exciting possibility of drone racing potentially finding a place in the Olympics competition. Apart from various small level drone racing authorities that hold their own races, with certain technical rules applicable to different types of drones, FAI is constantly working to standardize the sport at the global level.
Their efforts were well evident last year when FAI successfully conducted the Drone Racing World Cup. Now plans are underway to hold the 2020 Drone Racing World Cup, to be held in different parts of the world. Considering the fan following this sport has gathered in such a short span of time, it won’t be wrong to state that drone racing is indeed becoming all the rage in the world!
Rapidly growing interest at the international level
The FAI 2019 Drone Racing World Cup happened in China (Xiangshan Ningbo) in mid- December last year. Officially known as the FAI World Drone Racing Championship Finals, the event featured top competitors from various parts of the world, who had worked their way up through regional level tournaments. These regional events had started in early 2019, in Finland, followed by qualifying competitions happening in multiple locations including Hong Kong, Spain, Japan, UK, China, Switzerland, Russia and South Korea. A total of 566 competitors from 46 countries participated in these regional tournaments.
Banking on the past success
Owing to the rapidly growing global popularity of drone racing, FAI has already created a schedule for multiple qualifying events spread over 2020, leading up to the World Cup finals. Even though no specific venue declaration has been made for the finals as yet, experts believe that this year’s qualifying events are going to be very exciting, to say the least.
The first round of World Cup qualifiers was to happen in Finland, in the month of March, at Oulu, featuring F9 drones. This event was to be followed by a couple more qualifying tournaments in May 2020, one in Seoul, South Korea and the other in Macedonia. More competitions had been lined up throughout the European summer in the UK, Spain and Germany. A two-day long drone racing competition had also been worked out in South Korea, for September 19. However, all these events are unlikely to happen on their scheduled dates now, owing to the coronavirus pandemic that has engulfed the entire world.
It is only after a few months when the Covid-19 situation would have likely gotten better across the world, that we can expect some more clarity on the scheduling of these regional tournaments, as well as the Championship finals.